Sunday, April 12, 2009

Recession hits harder for deaf, hearing-impaired and disabled

Those who run non-profit groups are feeling the pain of deep, wounding budget setbacks, including support from various supporters.

Especially those who are disabled who rely on their income to support their disabilities are getting furlough, cutting pay or even facing lay-offs. I am facing my own 10-day unpaid furlough. I even lost almost $15,000 worth of retirement in my deferred compensation plan funds (similar to IRA) that I have to work longer to recoup what I have lost.

Recession also leaves disabled job seekers behind. Many disabled are competing with thousands of non-disabled job seekers going for jobs. The Department of Labor in February released a report tracking unemployment rates among disabled job-seekers. The survey found a 14 percent unemployment rate among disabled workers -- almost double that of the non-disabled population. According to the U.S. Census, people with disabilities comprise the largest minority group, approximately 20 percent of the population. The numbers will change after 2010 Census.

Will President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package help people with disabilities?

Many of us who are disabled do NOT want disability checks. We WANT TO WORK. Many experts and people often treats disabilities as 2nd or 3rd class citizens. We live in a world which places great emphasis on beauty, wealth and power. People with disabilities are often a symbol of the opposite, we struggle with physical or mental imperfection, powerlessness and often invisible. This only adds to the stigma which isolates them, separating them from the mainstream of life. Today, people with disabilities are focusing attention on tough issues that affect quality of life, such as accessible transportation, housing, affordable health care, employment opportunities and discrimination. People should be aware that that people with disabilities are ordinary people (just like them) with common goals for a home, a job and a family.

There are areas that are still facing barriers in one form or another. Improving the material quality of life, improving public safety and security, improving education, Christianity and spiritual values, increasing employment or improving work conditions for those who are truly disabled, improving the cultural quality (i.e. Deaf Culture) of life, improving the psychological and social quality of life and much more.

People with disabilities still are dealing with old legal barriers that prevents them from being independent. We are still identifying barriers to participation in our society. Many people with disabilities have the ability to overcome barriers in their own ways and making sure that they are having quality of life regardless of barriers. Proverbs speaks of the relationship between adversity and strength. "If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small (Pro. 24:10)." No matter how big the adversities, we can over-come and be able to what we want with our desires. Its our will that is strong. Its our desire that is strong. Its our determination that is strong.

1 comment:

Norma said...

I see no hope in a socialist plan for additional opportunities for people with disabilities.